Hands on with Chalonne's $1700+ luxury Apple Watch band

in Apple Watch edited July 2019
Chalonne is a meticulous accessory maker who has embraced the luxury market for Apple Watch bands, and they sell a $1700 Napa leather, gold, and pearl strap for Apple Watch. Let's take a look at it.

Chalonne luxury Apple Watch band
Chalonne luxury Apple Watch band in its box

Apple Watch luxury

Apple may have mostly abandoned its super high-end luxury aspirations for the Apple Watch, but that doesn't mean the category is dead. Rather than investing in a ten thousand dollar Apple Watch that is out of date after a year, those looking to step up their fashion game can grab any model and outfit it with any number of high-end bands.

One of those filling that void, is Chalonne. Chalonne has over a dozen fashionable styles available, all with varying amounts of leather, jewels, and other eclectic details. The bands Chalonne makes are all crafted in France and come in price-wise well above the luxury Hermes bands that Apple currently sells.

Chalonne luxury Apple Watch band made of Napa leather & freshwater pearls
Chalonne luxury Apple Watch band made of Napa leather & freshwater pearls

This particular model is crafted from exceptionally soft ebony black Napa leather on the outside and purple on the inside, stitched together by contrasting white thread. Affixed to that exterior, are seven freshwater pearls of various sizes, set into 14K white gold.

While that seems extravagant, it falls near the middle of the Chalonne lineup. Bling-less leather straps run a mere $700 while alligator leather and diamond pyramids will set you back upwards of $8000.

Chalonne watch band packaging
Chalonne watch band packaging

The detailed work on this band is quite nice -- personal opinions on the design aside. Even the packing is exorbitant. The band comes nestled in a sturdy jewelers watch box lined with a soft, plush material. That too is wrapped in custom tissue paper with the Chalonne logo metallically embossed.

The band that we tried out felt nice to wear and was similar to other high end leather bands. It is a bit stiff out of the box but easily gets broken in after a few times being worn. What we always love about leather is how it molds to its wearer and feels comfortable, sturdy, yet solid.

Chalonne pearl Apple Watch band
Chalonne pearl Apple Watch band

One issue we did have was that the bands aren't available in the gold lugs -- stainless or anodized aluminum. All of Chalonne's bands are available in both 38/40mm and 42/44mm sizes in silver or black. Those colors are common, but when we are going for the most expensive or fashion-forward Apple Watch, we think of the gold. Since the lugs are so easily swapped, one could do that themselves but it seems like a missed opportunity.

A fashionable statement

High fashion has always been polarizing, meant to be a statement, and doesn't always fit everyone's taste. There are certainly designs that we feel are more appealing and slightly less ostentatious. Personally, I'd be a bit apprehensive about accidentally bumping my band and setting one of the pearls free across the floor, never to be found again. They feel solidly in place, but would be on my mind none-the-less.

Still, the luxury market is still riving and those who are looking for something that is even more unique than Apple's offering of Hermes bands now have a solid option.

If you want to outfit your own Apple Watch with one of these luxury high-fashion bands, you can pick them up from Chalonne's website.


  • Reply 1 of 14
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 966member
    It looks like a $10 band with fake pearls you’d find at the Chinese market.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    I hate products like this. The stupidly expensive “luxury [whatever]” product category is disgusting.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,259member
    Honestly , it looks quite tacky. I would say stick with a Millenese loop or Hermès band.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 575member
    Is it sweat resistant? If I cannot use it for my workouts, its' not right for me.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    ralphieralphie Posts: 90member
    macapfel said:
    Is it sweat resistant? If I cannot use it for my workouts, its' not right for me.
    Yes it is. So you’re free to buy it. Be sure to post a pic. /s
  • Reply 6 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,663member
    Whoa. That thing is fugly...
  • Reply 7 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,663member
    macapfel said:
    Is it sweat resistant? If I cannot use it for my workouts, its' not right for me.
    I would never wear my good straps at the gym. 
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 965member
    dysamoria said:
    I hate products like this. The stupidly expensive “luxury [whatever]” product category is disgusting.
    Ha. I like luxury [whatever]… but this is just bad. Hermes is of course on point. Coach makes excellent and more affordable bands, Apple should push a little more traffic their way.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,329member
    Many people are incapable of appreciating most luxury items. 'A Rolls? Meh. My Echo gets me everywhere I want to go. Nobody needs a car over $20,000.' 'An Omega? A Rolex? My Timex tells time just as well, is a lot cheaper, and has an X in the name!' I can by a knock-off that looks just like [whatever] and nobody will know the difference!' And on and on and on and on.

    I like well made things that look great and do what I want. Most I can afford, some I can't. Taste in fashion is highly subjective. Not that it means anything, because it doesn't, I've never heard of this luxury brand. And that band just doesn't sell 'luxury'. I find it to be gaudy and cheap looking.

    I look at the Apple Watch Classic Buckle, or any Hermès band, and the quality is obvious. Depending on the individual, that may or may not justify the price. So you buy or don't.

    'High-fashion' should be a red flag for 'non-traditional take' of fashion, like high end (fashion) shows from famous/infamous designers showing outrageous designs that just about nobody would wear anywhere but models on runways.

    I just can't believe anybody, not knowing about anything about this band would see it and squeal with joy exclaiming  'Is that a Chalonne??' Maybe I'm just projecting. But then I don't get 'modern art'.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    boxcatcherboxcatcher Posts: 264member
    Fools and their money ...
  • Reply 11 of 14
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,264member

    Is this part of the "Ugly is Beautiful" movement? The stitches look deliberately bad and the pearls are tacked on randomly. There is no symmetry, with 3 on one side and 4 on the other.

    It probably does have  a market, but my subjective opinion is that it looks like shit.

  • Reply 12 of 14
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 211member
    Fugly and so basic you'll see $5 versions on Aliexpress by end of the month that will be indistinguishable from this abomination.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    It looks like the band has warts.  Hard to believe that anyone would want this.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    neilmneilm Posts: 979member
    When a watchband cost more than the watch it's on, you know that priorities are out of whack.

    And while beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, I agree with a previous post that this looks like a $10 item from some Chinese street market.
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